Civilian Labs Air Manila MacBook Air Sleeve Review

From a recent spending spree at Heinnie Haynes, the Civilian Labs Air Manila leather sleeve for my MacBook Air may be the only item that won’t get as much use as I’d hoped. And it isn’t the sleeve’s fault at all – it just doesn’t fit where I hoped it would.

When the first MacBook Air was unveiled, Steve Jobs produced it from inside a manila envelope, highlighting how amazingly thin it was. The Air Manila sleeve is a leather sleeve designed to look like a manila envelope.

Civilian Labs Air Manila (7)

It’s a bit brighter in colour, in an orange-yellow ‘mango’ colour. It’s quite a bit thicker than an envelope, too, as it’s made from leather, with a good layer of padding to protect your expensive computer. There’s velcro to keep it closed, but the twist-string closure is there too, completing the envelope look. There’s a really nice quality feel to the whole thing. It even smells nice – it seems like they’ve added a bit of mango scent to the leather. If the bright colour is too much for you, it’s also available in black. I usually go for everything in black, and really don’t like yellow and orange, but the bright cheery colour just seemed right for this.

Civilian Labs Air Manila (1)

It feels like it will provide good protection, and it looks great. The only reason I probably won’t get much use out of it is that it doesn’t quite fit into the bag I bought at the same time. The Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger is roomy enough for the MacBook Air, but not for the Air in the Air Manila sleeve. The sleeve adds a bit too much width.

Given the price, which makes it cheaper than most leather sleeves, and not much more expensive than many non-leather sleeves of much simpler design, it’s easy to recommend the Air Manila. As long as you have space in your bag.

More photos of the Air Manila:

111 Days of Uptime Ends

My MacBook Air had to install a firmware update, which needed to reboot. I felt kind of bad about it, because it had done 111 days without needing to restart, which seems like good going for a tiny notebook computer.

screenshot

Since the fault it fixes is old MacBook Airs stopping working after a large number of recharges, though, it sounded like it was worth doing. I’m not sure I’m close to 1,000 recharges yet, but it’s plugged in and out a few times most days. Now I have to start working on my uptime record again.

Orange Personal Hotspot on iPhone

Orange appear to have enabled the Personal Hotspot feature on iPhones, or at least on mine. Part of the Everything Everywhere rebranding, at a guess. This pleases me. I love my MacBook Air, and it goes out and about with me a lot. Whenever I’m away from home or work, though, it has no connectivity […]

Working Anywhere – Reality

I posted the other day about working from the top of a mountain. The mountain was played by Sheeps Tor, a bit of a rocky hill; and the work was played by copying a few images from camera to MacBook. I actually did transfer all the images while we were still there, but from the less impressive location of our car.

MacBook Air, using Eye-Fi card to copy images from my camera. Sheeps Tor seen through the windscreen.

I use an Eye-Fi card, which is an SD card like any other, but with the addition of WiFi. If it doesn’t find a WiFi network nearby that it knows about, it sets up its own, which the Mac can then connect to, letting the Eye-Fi software pull images from the camera. Once set up, it all happens automatically, as long as the camera and MacBook are sitting close to each other. I took the photos with the camera while the images were being copied from it, and they just joined the queue to transfer.

I’ll write a bit more about this soon – it’s time to update on my photo workflow, as it’s changed a lot since I last posted about it, with some nice automated stuff going on.

Working Anywhere

In ads for things like laptops and mobile internet services, people are always shown working in the most unexpected places. Sitting on a beach writing their monthly sales report, or emailing their boss the latest production spreadsheet for the EMEA region from the top of a bleak mountain somewhere.

Originally, the boss would receive it at work or home, and nod, impressed that our hero is in the office at all hours. These days, the boss may well be receiving the results on the golf course, or even on the next peak across the mountain range.

Well, when I found myself at the top of Sheeps Tor on Dartmoor, I couldn’t resist the urge to pop my MacBook Air out of my bag, and transfer a few images across from my camera wirelessly. Can’t miss a chance to emulate an annoying git in an advert.

More pics from the same trip should be coming soon.

And yes, the rock did scratch the bottom of my Mac a little. And I knew it probably would. And I did it anyway, for the sake of getting the photo.